Did Casey Anthony search Internet for 'how to make chloroform'?

By Adam Longo, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Originally published Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Chief Judge Belvin Perry could decide at any moment what scientific evidence will be allowed at Casey Anthony's upcoming trial.

But one important piece of evidence that has not come up at all during recent hearings were Google searches on "neck breaking," and "how to make chloroform" from the Anthony family's computer.

A chance meeting in Orlando helped uncover those details.

Within just days of Casey's first arrest in July 2008, her cell phone and laptop were handed over to the Orange County Sheriff's Office computer crime squad.

On the laptop was a cartoon drawing of a little girl starting at a teddy bear hanging from a noose, with the caption:

Why do people kill people, who kill people, to show people that to kill people is bad?

The image was in a folder on the desktop of Casey's computer, and was last saved on July 8, 2008 -- one week before her daughter, Caylee, was reported missing.

"In my opinion, this is a graphic caricature picture of something that may be related to Caylee on Casey Anthony's reported laptop during the date and time of interest when she was missing, and we were looking for her," said Orange County Deputy Sandra Cawn, with the computer crime squad, during a deposition in November 2010. "I merely found it interesting. That's all."

Cawn said she also found the term "chloroform," but not on Casey's laptop. That came later, when investigators seized the Anthony family's home computer, to which everyone in the house had access.

But Cawn and her supervisor, Sgt. Kevin Stenger, could not see anything besides that word, chloroform, and they needed help to find out more.

At a computer conference in Orlando in 2009, Stenger met John Dennis Bradley, a Canadian computer expert.

Bradley worked for three days, for free, to try and extract the information from the Anthonys' computer.

He finally cracked it at 3 a.m. on the Friday he was set to fly home.

"I found two results," Bradley told lawyers in his deposition. "One was for 'chloroform,' spelled 'c-h-l-o-r-o-f-o-r-m,' and that was dated March 17, 2008, at 14:43 p.m., 41 seconds. And there was one visit. And the second entry is for 'how to make chloroform,' and the same spelling on the 21st of March, 2008, at 3:16 p.m. and 30 seconds. One visit."

There was also a Google search on the same computer for the term "neck breaking," Bradley said.

But defense attorneys are expected to argue there is no proof it was Casey who searched for those terms.

One of Casey's ex-boyfriends posted a picture on his MySpace profile with the caption: "Win her over with Chloroform."

Could they argue that it was the ex-boyfriend behind those searches?

Judge Perry could exclude the computer searches from being introduced at trial -- if he also excludes the evidence of chloroform found in the trunk of Casey's car.